The White side of (ethnically) ‘mixed’ Denmark

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The paper aims to explore critically psychosocial family services available for the traumatized refuges in the Danish context, though the primary foci of the prevalent services are the individual refugees. A model for working with families across cultural boundaries, based on a critical constructive eclectic theoretical framework invoking local practices is also presented.
Despite formal rights to mental healthcare for ethnic minorities including the traumatised refugees, there is no national strategy in Denmark aimed at ensuring that. Still in 1980s as services for treatment of refugees who have been subjected to torture and trauma were established .This paper delineates couple of mainstream organisations – Dignity and Oasis, mainly government funded and pioneers in the field. However, they are primarily pathology focussed; often without explicitly addressing structural inequalities and often fail to structure support in terms of refugee family’s needs within acknowledgment of their resilience. An exploration of their employment practices points to limited use of refugees’ resources.
This paper additionally covers NGO such as Transcultural Therapeutic Team (TTT) for ethnic minority youth and families as well as Ethnic Resource Team (ERT) Multi faith chaplaincy, a mental health service use the resources of refugees and other ethnic minorities, as they are involved as initiators, professionals and volunteers. However the economic basis is/ has been rather precarious. Intricately interrelated principles of variant, multiple identities, inclusion of family members and inclusion of the broad context form a framework for TTT. These organisations thereby respond to the special aspects of ethnic minority related to complex identities, family relationships characterised by interdependence, transnationalism, spirituality, experiences of discrimination.
Lastly there are suggestions for further developing organisations which ensure access to equitable psychosocial services for refugee families addressing issues such as refugees’ own resources, resilience, societal exclusion, stigmatisation, professionals' (dis) empowering approaches. Thus critical perspectives, international collaboration and inspiration are emphasised.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date3 Jul 2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2014
Event17th Nordic migration conference: Flows, Places and Boundaries – Migratory Challenges and New Agendas - Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 13 Aug 201415 Aug 2014
Conference number: 17th Migration Research Conference


Conference17th Nordic migration conference
Number17th Migration Research Conference
LocationCopenhagen University
Internet address

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